The Standpipe was constructed in 1869. It was a functioning part of the Cochituate water system for about 10 years. Inside
this Gothic Revival structure is a high-pressure water tower. A pump house (located at Elmwood and Roxbury Streets) forced
water up to the Standpipe where it was stored for use in households at high elevations.
The Standpipe is on the site of the Roxbury High fort. The Fort was one of several fortifications built by American
colonial troops around British-occupied Boston during this country's War of Independence.
After the Standpipe ceased to be part of the water system, residents of Roxbury organized to have it converted into an
observatory. A balcony was added and the remodeled tower was opened to the public in 1917.
In the mid-1970s, during the cold winter months, the balcony and its sidewalk crashed to the ground. An effort
was made to restore the tower. Although the tower was repainted, and the roof repaired, the balcony was not restored.
The following photographs and article are taken from a leaflet prepared during Mayor Kevin White's term of office
in the late 1970s.